You can make a gift without giving any money right now, or you can make a gift that will return an income to you, such as an annuity. You may also make a gift through your estate plan. All of these gifts are referred to as planned gifts, because you are planning to provide the gift at a later date.
Gifts which can be made without giving money now
Through your will or living trust, you can designate a specific percentage, dollar amount or item to be donated to the Lutheran Education Foundation. You can also designate that after other specific bequests have been filled, the remainder be directed to the school. You may wish to consider naming the Lutheran Education Foundation as a “contingent beneficiary” in the event of your named beneficiaries do not survive you.
You can name the Lutheran Education Foundation as a beneficiary, or owner and beneficiary of a life insurance policy. You can change the owner and/or beneficiary designation of an existing policy or purchase a new policy with such designations.
Retirement plan assets
Retirement plan assets are subject to income taxes during your lifetime and upon your death. If you leave retirement assets to a non-spouse beneficiary, they may be subject to both income and estate taxes. Many people prefer to avoid this double taxation by directing retirement plan assets as a gift to charity, in which case the gift is fully tax deductible from the estate as a charitable gift. Other assets can be left to family members that are not subject to income taxes when received.
Retained life estates
A less known giving option is the retained life estate. You can deed property, such as your home or farm, to the foundation now and receive a sizable income tax deduction. This is particularly attractive if your property is debt-free. One of the benefits of this option is you make the gift now, but continue to live on your property and retain all rights to collect rents or make improvements during your lifetime. This option may also be attractive if you own more than one home which you occupy only during certain times of the year.
NOTE: This information is not intended as legal advice. It is essential for your will and any charitable bequests to be done professionally and legally. For questions specific in nature, it is important to always consult your attorney and professional advisor(s) before making a decision.